Benefits for corporates adopting eco-friendly business models


A policeman plants a tree seedling during the National Tree Planting Day held at Eldoret International Airport in Uasin Gishu County, organized by Kenya Airports Authority on November 13, 2023. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG 

On Monday, Kenya’s inaugural tree-planting holiday saw millions of trees planted, with the goal set at 500 million seedlings.

The current regime has an ambitious plan to plant 15 billion trees in 10 years. Several civil servants participated in the exercise as a show of good citizenship.

Kenya hosted the Climate Change Conference, which resulted in a continental policy change. The major win after this conference was the Nairobi Declaration, which addressed climate change and environmental issues in Africa.

Businesses can participate at corporate levels in environmental preservation and conservation. There are many self-policing internal regulations and practices that businesses can adopt to enhance environmental conservation.

Going green happens when a business implements eco-friendly changes. Many businesses globally are going green, as there are many benefits to doing so.

Going green promotes environmental preservation. There are four main considerations for businesses going green, including climate change mitigation, reducing pollution, sustainable practices, and waste reduction.

The environment is not the only winner when a business goes green, but the business also stands to benefit. The first major benefit to the business is that it creates a healthier and safer environment. Staff and other stakeholders stand to gain more from an eco-friendly business than from one that is not. Reducing pollution at the workplace benefits and promotes overall staff well-being.

Going green enables a business to attract and retain quality staff who are also environmentally conscious. Highly talented recruits are more likely to focus on the overall impact of the organisation than average staff. It also enables a business to be more competitive in the job market than a business that has not adopted eco-friendly practices.

Going green is good for the business’s reputation and public image. A business that pollutes the environment is likely to taint its reputation and receive bad publicity.

Eco-friendly businesses attract quality customers who are intentional about the eco-friendly practices of their suppliers.

In the tourism industry, for example, an eco-lodge may attract a more eco-friendly clientele than one that is not. Being eco-friendly is something a business can sell to customers as a selling point.

Going green attracts the right investors. In some cases, it makes it easy for a business to access funding, especially in donor and grant funding where the donor may want disclosures on the environmental practices of the business.

Going green can be as simple as turning off the lights when not in use, going paperless, or recycling paper to reduce waste. It can be as complex as investing in green and renewable energy.

I recommend a business seek professional advice from an environmentalist before going green. The environmentalist may assist your business in undertaking an environmental impact assessment and then make recommendations on how to go green.

Businesses can enhance eco-friendliness through environmental and climate change policies. A good commercial or environmental lawyer can assist your business in drafting and implementing an environmental policy.

These are organizational policies that are self-regulating and binding on the staff. They form part of the human resource practices and form part of the employment contract. These policies also communicate the business ‘practices to stakeholders.

Ms Mputhia is the founder of C Mputhia Advocates | [email protected]

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